Morality, religion and what we teach our children


OPINION: Do we really need religion to teach children what is right and wrong?

GST import threshold could drop

Market-watchers now see the Australian dollar slipping below US76¢ in coming days or weeks, and then towards US75¢ as divergent monetary policies and growth patterns between the US and Australia drive investor capital away from the Aussie towards the greenback.

Could New Zealand's GST import rules be up for change if our Australian counterparts change their rules?

Waikato Maori to be congratulated

PORTFOLIO: Tainui Group Holdings' commercial developments include Te Awa and The Base.

OPINION: Waikato Tainui are finally making the dream of the first two Maori kings a reality.

The cost of finding yourself

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OPINION: Ever dreamed of being someone else? Would you be willing to pay the price, even if it cost you everything?

Council moves on from its Greek adventure

The city's debt is now manageable.

OPINION: Not all city debts are created equal.

Piako's Ken Thomas dies at age 86

Ken Thomas

Ken Thomas was an inspired leader who was deeply involved in his community.

The old Hamilton is disappearing

Victoria Cinema, Hamilton, long gone.

OPINION: The Hamilton Richard Swainson has known for years is being razed, one building at a time.

Hamilton should honour its part in the Springbok Tour of 1981

From the Waikato Times archives. Springbok tour protesters storm Hamilton's Rugby Park on July 25, 1981, forcing the match to be abandoned.

OPINION: Columnist Max Christoffersen goes out on a limb and brings up a contentious moment in Hamilton history. Futhermore, he thinks it should be honoured.

The mind-boggling fly-past of Pluto

OPINION: Ask me what the most exciting part of the latest planet Pluto probe could be and you might answer, the pictures.

Playing the race card unhelpful


OPINION: Playing the race card in the Auckland housing market debate was stupid, misleading and unhelpful to finding a solution to the two-headed problem of housing affordability and housing supply in our largest city.

We've made advances, but still not all are equal


OPINION: What values are left? This was an anguished cry issued recently by certain bewildered individuals, compounded by worried parents of schoolage children.

Citizenfour lays bare United States' hypocrisy

Director Laura Poitras accepts the award for Best Documentary for her film "Citizenfour" at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California, on  February 21, 2015.

OPINION: Every country that has ever been has enjoyed its own peculiar double standards and hypocrisies. As individual human beings, we have an infinite capacity to say one thing but do another. The average parent probably does so at least five times a day. When this behaviour is magnified at a collective level, the results are often astounding.

Hamilton artist Campbell Smith dies

Campbell Smith, 1925-2015

OPINION: Playwright, poet, wood engraver, artist, teacher, mentor – these descriptives fail to capture Waikato’s Campbell Smith.

The confusion of living and dying in New Zealand

Life vs death - no matter where we are on the continuum, the question can be vexed.

OPINION: Deciding who to kill and who to let live can be a tricky business.

Woodstoves a necessity when the power goes off

It can take days in severe weather for linesmen to get the power back on. In the meantime, you'll freeze if your only heating is electrical.

OPINION: When the power goes, you'd best have a wood stove on standby.

Parking charges still an issue


OPINION: It was flattering to have my column of last week attract the attention of so well heeled an administrator as the Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University. 

Let's put Cool Fund on steroids

Waikato Regional Council chairwoman Paula Southgate pushed the Cool Fund  through with support from former mayors and now  senior regional councillors Bob Simcock  and Alan Livingston.

OPINION: The paltry $18.9 million being proposed over a 10 year period is not enough.

Nita Berry loved children

Nita Berry 1923-2015

Hamilton's Nita Berry loved children. She and her husband had two boys and three girls, adopted four more boys, and fostered more than 100 kids.

Hamilton councillors' lack of unity on debt a worry

One would wish that the councillors were as unified as the council's emblem suggests.

OPINION: Hamilton City Councillors are good people, but one must question their political priorities and methods of achieving positive outcomes by working in unison.

Sonny Tau and the kereru affair

Wood pigeon (kereru),  Harming a kereru can result in a charge under the Wildlife Act of hunting a protected species. It is an offence under the act to hunt or kill a kereru.

OPINION: What’s the difference between a mistake and a brazen, calculated crime? Ask Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau. A slip-up, a blooper, a blunder, a gaffe is how Mr Tau has characterised his attempt to smuggle on to a plane five dead kereru stuffed up his jumper.

Cold, mouldy homes a scandal


OPINION: It's 12:37 PM on a Friday. I am working from home, and I am wearing a thermal undershirt, a T-shirt, a Swanndri, a beanie, jeans, thick socks, and wool slippers.

England beat us at our own game

Brendon McCullum of New Zealand hits out during the 3rd ODI Royal London One-Day Series 2015 between England and New Zealand at Ageas Bowl on June 14, 2015 in Southampton, England.

OPINION: Expectations for the New Zealand cricket tour of England were exceedingly high. But they had our number.

Can't afford kids? 'Stop breeding'


OPINION: That a child should die in this country because the house it was living in was too damp and cold and a heater couldn’t afford to be run is a shocking state of affairs.

Some Hamilton councillors have a poor attendance record

OPINION: Some councillors are much better than others at actually attending council meetings.

Making uni students pay to park a bad idea

University of Waikato students are frustrated about the proposal of paid parking being enforced at the end of the year.

OPINION: It started with a simple question at an Auckland-based tertiary institution. Why are tertiary students choosing to enrol at our campus instead of other universities or polytechnics?

Butch Gifford of Morrinsville dies at 76

Neilson John (Butch) Gifford, QSM, 1938-2015

Butch Gifford was awarded a QSM for his services to the game of squash.

Sport Waikato calls for fair cheering

Northern Football Federation's new sideline signs to promote good spectator behaviour are along the same lines as what Sport Waikato is seeking.

Sport Waikato calls better sideline behaviour from parents and spectators at sports events.

Cyclists will always come off second best in a collision

Cars and bikes both travel much faster than in the 1950s, meaning cyclists are at greater risk on the roads.

OPINION: Maybe it's time for cyclists to be licensed, the way car drivers are.

Christopher Lee set the benchmark

British actor Christopher Lee, who played the part of Bond bad guy Scaramanga in the film "The Man with the Golden Gun", poses for pictures with the original gun from the James Bond film at the Science Museum in London in this October 15, 2002,  photo.

OPINION: Christopher Lee could convince as a Chinaman, a Russian or an Indian. We won't see his like again.

Rachel Dolezal and the art of choosing your identity

Rachel Dolezal: "I have a huge issue with black-face. This is not some freak ... mockery blackface performance. This is on a very real, connected level. I've actually had to go there with the experience."

OPINION: A white woman pretending to be a black woman...what's wrong with that?

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